Ever since Brian McLaren released his bestselling book, A Generous Orthodoxy,
he has become a lightning rod of controversy. In response to this work,
some felt McLaren was poised to become a contemporary reformer while
others remarked that his beliefs were neither generous nor orthodox.
Brian has continued to develop his thinking since then, publishing numerous books with provocative titles such as The Secret Message of Jesus.
With each new work, opposition among traditional evangelicals has
mounted against his beliefs. But the dam seemed to break when his most
recent book, A New Kind of Christianity, hit stores in February.
Theologian Scot McKnight, a self-described “friend and chronicler” of McLaren’s work, responded with a bold review in Christianity Today
that attempted to separate this new kind of faith from historic
orthodoxy. “Brian is not only poking evangelicals, he is also calling
everything about Christian orthodoxy—from the ecumenical creeds through
the Reformation and up to present-day evangelicalism—into question . . .
I find little space in it for orthodoxy.” McKnight wrote.
Others have echoed McKnight’s sentiments. Trevin Wax, author of Holy Subversion, remarked, “McLaren’s proposal demonstrates the hypocrisy of liberalism.” Kevin DeYoung, author of Why We're Not Emergent, said the book was “two steps forward in terms of clarity and ten steps backward in terms of orthodoxy.”
be fair, some Christians have warmed up to and even defended McLaren’s
theological evolution as paving the way for the future of the Church. In
2005, TIME magazine named McLaren one of the “25 most influential evangelicals” in America. Still, the voices shouting “heresy” are undeniably loud.
Q, we’ve never been satisfied with recycling caricatures. Or relying on
second-hand opinions about Christianity or culture. So we decided to
invite Brian out to our Q gathering in Chicago
to give him a chance to speak for himself and respond to the naysayers.
The video below is his interview with Scot McKnight on what McLaren
believes and how he would respond to the dissenting voices who oppose
We look forward to hearing what you think.
Q | Conversations on Being a Heretic from Q Ideas on Vimeo.
What do you think about McLaren's work? In your opinion, does it pave the way forward or move us away from orthodoxy?